It’s no coincidence that fanzines and supporter websites spring up when times are hard. There’s no shortage of things to write about, more grist to the mill, more cud to chew, more ire to share.
The formation of the ITHICS Fanzine sprung up on the back of our relegation from the Premier League in 1997, and the fact that no-one was holding the club to account.
One of the reasons we ended after 17 short editions was that in the early 2000s things were going as well as we could possibly dream, and it was harder to get the juggernautical Premier League to look favourably upon us.
And as I sit down to a blank screen and a pint, I think I have no spleen to vent, no itch to tickle. We’ve had back-to-back three-goal margin victories. We’ve started the new season (albeit in the third tier) with three wins and a draw. We’ve come back to win from being behind, twice already this season.
Bit by bit, the disastrous legacy of the Short years is being stripped back and consigned to history. It has been a long time since the Stadium of Light was treated to football without fear, played with verve and ferocity; not seen since perhaps the days of Peter Reid on a regular basis.
Going a goal down then was never a big issue. The players would just regroup and go again. Like Wednesday at Gillingham - to go a goal down inside three minutes would have seen last year’s team crumple and fold.
Not so this team - after all, we were back on level terms within a minute.
As the weeks roll on with the new ownership, details are revealed as to how uninterested and stagnant the old regime really was. The Roker Rapport Podcast had the Times newspaper’s northern football correspondent, George Caulkin as its guest this week. He recounted many tales which showed the club is now back in the hands of people we can trust.
The tale of Jane Moran, who has never been to match without her dad was particularly touching. They have been going together since 1974; however, now, sadly her father is too ill to attend games and she tweeted this fact.
Stewart Donald saw this and visited her family saying they will do anything they can to help. Sir Bob Murray, club chair of 18 years and director for much longer, it was revealed, was made persona non grata by the Short regime. Mr Donald reached out to Sir Bob and invited him back to the club. Like Jane said, it is like we have got our club back.
We have made clear our admiration of the new lot in charge and the results on the pitch just back it up. Things are being done properly for the first time in a long time.
Long may it continue.